“a lot of joy at the same time as all the benefits of the science behind the exercise.”

Jerry and Rosemary’s Story

Jerry is a retired primary school headteacher living with vascular dementia. Jerry’s daughter Rosemary was introduced to Love to Move by Ann O’Neill, the parish administrator at St Mary’s Church.  Ann thought the Love to Move classes would be great for Jerry and after Rosemary’s initial reservation about Jerry joining a face-to-face session, post pandemic, Rosemary and Jerry decided to give the Love to Move sessions a try. With Jerry able to go to a familiar location after minimal contact with other people, Rosemary saw a great opportunity for Jerry to get our again and interact with others.

Jerry has severe visual impairment so Love to Move deliverer, Nicole, ensured that Jerry was next to her in the class, so he was able to follow the movements more easily.

Positive and significant impact

“This proved to be a great success as it allowed him to copy and stay engaged and now it is his appointed place at every session,” says Rosemary. “There has been a really positive and significant impact on Dad as a result of the sessions and all of the family (seven children, eighteen grandchildren and one great- granddaughter) have heard all about the fun he’s had and his special role as Nicole’s self- appointed sidekick!”

“One of my sisters lives in Australia and hasn’t been able to come home to visit Dad for over two years. I was so happy to be able to share a video clip with her of Dad in action in the Love to Move session and I know that it meant so much to her to see him singing along to the music and kicking his legs high in the Hokey Cokey!”

Rosemary and Jerry attended their first Love to Move session in November 2021. “At first, I found it really difficult to see Dad in the group because as I watched him, I was remembering how he used to be in the past,” said Rosemary.

A real sense of community

“However, as I saw him engage in the classes and watched how he connected with the other participants and with Nicole, I started to see how much he was enjoying himself and how much good it was doing him. I would say that the thing I enjoy the most about Love to Move is that there is a real sense of community which has developed over the sessions, and it has given Dad a lot of joy at the same time as offering all the benefits of the science behind the exercise.”

“Jerry has just had a check-up with his GP, and she told me that he is in great shape physically. I think that a significant part of the credit for that should go to Nicole and to Love to Move”.

Recorded Improvements

Nicole, one of the British Gymnastics Foundation’s Love to Move deliverers added “at the British Gymnastics Foundation, we have been conducting data collection to look at the physical benefits of taking part in Love to Move classes. After three months I recorded an improvement in Jerry’s hand grip, leg strength and walking speed from his initial results. I am pleased as Jerry works hard each session to improve the exercises in particular the bilateral patterns, which are tricky.”

The British Gymnastics Foundation has helped over 600 people to come through the Love to Move training course to deliver the programme to thousands of people living with dementia across the country.

Contact us to find out more

Contact [email protected] to find out more information on our Love to Move training courses or find a class near you.